Check Seym as an Estate Representative Body: Essay in Comparative and Hstorical Perspective
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Check Seym as an Estate Representative Body: Essay in Comparative and Hstorical Perspective
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This article is an attempt to review in comparative and historical perspective the origins and development of the estate monarchy in Western Europe and Bohemia during the Middle Ages. On the one hand, there are similarities in the development of medieval statehood of Western Europe and the Bohemia, and, on the other hand, the analysis reveals the originality of timing and ways of formation of the estate monarchy in Bohemia, its functional characteristics and fate at the turn of the Middle Ages and the New Times. The Seym was a continuing body throughout the history of the Czech state, but at different stages of its development, it performed different functions and was formed of different social strata. This institution grew out of the popular assemblies of the pre-state period and then became a meeting of members of the highest aristocracy of early medieval society. In the 13th century an estate structure of society began to form in Bohemia, but the Seym was not an organ of the estate representatives and was, in fact, a congress of representatives of the Czech nobility, with function to protect its interests and solve vital problems for its existence and development. Only the Hussite movement, during which towns acquired a permanent representation in the Seym, contributed to the transformation of the Seyms into the estate representative body in the proper sense of the word (with the clergy remaining outside of it). Unlike Western European countries, formation of an estate representation system in Bohemia did not strengthen the royal power or create prerequisites for a transition to absolutism. This was due to both peculiarities of socio-political development of Bohemia in the Middle Ages and the fact that attempts to establish absolutism came from the rulers of the Habsburg dynasty, who pursued a policy of suppression of independent statehood of Bohemian kingdom, national and religious rights of the Czech nation. Under these conditions, the Seym became a palladium of the struggle for national independence.
the state in the Middle Ages, the estate monarchy, Bohemia
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